Protecting the Independence of National Councils of the Judiciary on the EU Level

Councils for the judiciary are one of the main targets in political efforts to diminish the independence of the judiciary in several countries. Since more and more countries in the EU fail to provide a minimum of security as to their independence, it is of the utmost importance that this is dealt with on Union level.

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Der virtuelle Mr. Hyde

Heute vor einem Jahr brannte es in Zelle 143 der JVA Kleve. Darin eingeschlossen war der junge Syrer Amad A., der wenige Tage später seinen Verbrennungen und Vergiftungen erlag. Amad A. war am 6. Juli 2018 von der Polizei in Geldern festgenommen und darauf inhaftiert worden. Die Inhaftierung erfolgte aufgrund eines Haftbefehls, mit dem der Malier Amedy G. gesucht wurde. Amad A. befand sich fälschlicherweise in Haft und kam auf grässliche Weise ums Leben. Der Fall verdeutlicht die Risiken im Umgang mit polizeilichen Datenbanken.

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Where Power Lies or Where Power Lied?

Tomorrow, on Tuesday 17 September, the UK Supreme Court will be asked to consider appeals from the Court of Session in Scotland, and the High Court in England on the question of whether prime minister Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen to prorogue parliament was lawful. Such a question will oblige the court to consider foundational questions of the separation of powers and the division between law and politics. It will also have to decide whether the motives of executive decision-making can be judged against principles of parliamentary sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law. If the Supreme Court finds the advice was unlawful, an even more difficult question arises in what sort of order may be given to remedy such a legal wrong: can the court order Parliament to return to a session which has ended, or the Queen to ‘un-prorogue’?

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Advertising: Global Constitutionalism (Journal)

Volume 8, Issue 2

July 2019


Global Constitutionalism

Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law

  • Reactive vs structural approach: A public law response to populism
  • Glocalised constitution-making in the twenty-first century: Evidence from Asia

The UK Constitution and Brexit – Five Brief External Observations

As a constitutional lawyer one therefore cannot help but ask: What is happening to the British Constitution? What is going on with the political and parliamentary culture of a nation so proud of its parliamentary history? And what about the Queen? In the following, I would therefore like to share five very brief and somewhat unsystematic observations of these recent developments from a German perspective.

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Zivile Seenotrettung vor deutschen Gerichten

Während die deutsche Politik und Öffentlichkeit mit dem Finger auf Italien und auch Malta und ihre Politik der geschlossenen Häfen zeigen, beschäftigte sich im Schatten der medialen Aufmerksamkeit auch die deutsche Verwaltungsgerichtsbarkeit mit einem Fall ziviler Seenotrettung und Menschenrechtsbeobachtung. Er zeigt, dass die deutsche Rolle im Umgang mit ziviler Seenotrettung nicht ganz so vorbildlich ist, wie sie nach außen hin gespielt wird.

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Acquiescing in Refoulement

The judgment of the US Supreme Court issued on Wednesday (Attorney General v. East Bay Sanctuary Covenant) purports to be simply procedural: It overturns a lower court injunction that prevented President Trump’s unilateral “safe third country” rule from coming into force before its legality is tested on the merits. But in truth, the Supreme Court knowingly acquiesced in the refoulement of refugees arriving at the US southern border.

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Demokratische Miet-Bestimmung

Selten bekommt ein Gesetzesentwurf des Berliner Senats wohl so viel Aufmerksamkeit, wie in den letzten Wochen der sog. „Mietendeckel“. Die Reaktionen auf den Referentenentwurf ließen nicht lange auf sich warten: Ungerecht, Enteignung, Planwirtschaft. Opposition und Verbände kündigen Verfassungsklagen an. Auch Ex-BVerfG-Präsident Papier attestiert dem Vorstoß in einem Gutachten im Auftrag des Bundesverbandes deutscher Wohnungsunternehmen (GdW) die Verfassungswidrigkeit. Tatsächlich handelt es sich letztlich jedoch nicht um eine Frage der Verfassung, sondern demokratischer Auseinandersetzung.

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Norway’s Heureka Moment?

Norwegian elections are usually quite boring. While the government changes between different parties, the party structure has been remarkably stable for more than 80 years. And for decades, constitutional lawyers have been denied juicy electoral scandals. The electoral system runs smoothly without major hiccups. Monday’s local election brought at last a glimmer of excitement for Norwegian constitutional lawyers. Not only did a newly-formed protest movement shake up the traditional party landscape. It also came to light that Norway’s public broadcaster attempted to manipulate students in the non-official school election.

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Recognizing Court-Packing

There is near scholarly consensus that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has successfully packed the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC). Court packing is commonly understood as expanding the membership of the court, appointing judges with long tenures that extend beyond a couple of election cycles, and who are ideologically committed to the executive’s constitutional vision. These elements, however, are still foreign to Turkey’s political elites.

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